By Sheryl Garrett and Debra Neiman
Reviewed by Gary W. Silverman, CFP®
They are your clients, your friends, and make up over 5 percent of the U.S. adult population. Their numbers have grown over 70 percent in the last decade.
They are people who are coupled but not married.
They are also a financial planning disaster waiting to happen. This is not just a gay/lesbian issue. Close to nine in ten unmarried couples are heterosexual relationships. And close to half of those households contain children. While most couples (married or otherwise) ignore taking basic financial planning steps, those who are not married also lose the federal and state laws that give at least some reasonable default. This is further exaggerated when you consider that many tax, estate, and investment professionals haven't a clue as to the needs of unmarried couples.
Money Without Matrimony addresses these financial planning issues. But it does more. Rather than just take on the technical issues, it also delves into life planning matters such as relationship, lifestyles, and family.
Being written to the couple rather than the planner, Money Without Matrimony would be a great introduction (though a lengthy one) to get them pre-sold on financial planning. One problem exists in using it this way. The book gives contact information for Garrett Planning Network advisors. It also refers readers to Pride Planners and NAPFA for advisory referrals. If you are not part of either group, you may lose a little credibility with your potential client.
Those concerns aside, this is a rare book whose information needs to be known by any planner advising unmarried couples.
Gary W. Silverman, CFP®, owns a fee-only financial planning firm in Wichita Falls, Texas. He is the host of the financial television show, Money$Talk; editor of the financial newsletter, Personal Money Planning; and a frequent contributor to the print and broadcast media. Gary also teaches university courses in finance and management.
Dearborn Trade Publishing
$21.95 U.S., $30.95 Canada